*It was in 1991 that I first interviewed Ice Cube and it was for “Boyz N the Hood.”
Cube, Laurence Fishburne, Morris Chestnut and John Singleton were all at the Mayflower Hotel on Central Park West in New York City to promote the film. None of them knew at that time how big the movie would become. In New York once again for “21 Jump Street,”
The Film Strip asked Cube what has the road been from there to “21 Jump Street”?
“It was a dream come true to get to ‘21 Jump Street,’ he recalled. “I’ve been rapping since I was yea high to a horse fly and got discovered in 1990 by John Singleton and I’ve been doing great comedies [ever since]. I’ve enjoyed this whole ride, my whole career has been an unbelievable blessing and I thank God.”
It was not hard for Cube to find his niche because he knew he was funny when he was a kid.
“Funny was what everyone was trying to do. You either played sports good, or you made people laugh.”
He also acknowledged that it wasn’t always fun and games.
“It’s rough for everybody, you know. Everybody had their awkward days and moments and times when they felt like they were the ones that were singled out.”
Definitely laughing all the way to the bank, Cube says movies give him more creativity than music.
“With acting, you can do anything you think of, and have them on your shoot, so it just gives you more room to play to be creative.” There will, however, be another CD dropping this year. “It’s the same old West Coast hip hop that I’ve done forever,” he explains. “I don’t think I should ever change my style, so it’s just going to be those West Coast hits that people are used to hearing from me.”
The Film Strip also asked Cube’s co-stars Channing Tatum and Johan Hill what the road has been like for them to “21 Jump Street.”
“It has been great,” Tatum offers. “I grew up in the south and played football. That was it. I didn’t like school whatsoever and I was just happy to get out of high school. Then I was seen on the street by a modeling agent and modeling took me all around the world. Then I fell into acting and I haven’t been doing anything since. Fell in love [he’s referring to his co-star he married last year].”
“I’ve been with this movie for five years, from the age of 23 to 28,” Hill says. “And doing this press junket I realize that most of my twenties have been spent thinking about this movie in come capacity. It’s the only movie I’ve been with since the beginning to the end and I don’t know, I’m just really glad that I got to work with all these talented people.”
Adrien Brody talks “Detachment”
*The first time I interviewed Adrien Brody, it was a little film called “Restaurant,” in which he was madly in love with singer Lauren Hill. It also starred Elise Neal, Malcolm-Jamal Warner and TV’s “Mentalist,” Simon Baker. That was 1998 and now Brody is known for his Oscar for “The Pianist” and lip-locking Halle Berry at the Academy’s TV show. This week, Brody can be seen in an extraordinary film, along with other actors who put in exceptional performances.
“Detachment” touches on so many crucial issues, which one struck you the most, The Film Strip asked Brody.
“This movie gave me an opportunity to teach. Give insight and spread some knowledge. My aspiration as an actor has always been to find material that speaks to me, can share those experiences with others. Not just entertain people.
“I’m not in it for entertainment value. I think it’s important that I remain interesting and that the work is entertaining, but it should also stem from something greater than that and create this community in the theater. I look to find films that have this kind of relevance, social relevance. My father was a public school teacher, I’m a product of public schools in New York, so I understand the pitfalls. I understand how much generosity my father has in dedicating a lifetime to teaching. A profession that’s not really very glamorous. He was very kind and patient with his students and with myself, and I think a large degree of my success stems from that.”
Knowing how important it is to have role models, or mentors, Brody was no exception as a kid. However, it was very interesting to find out how important a Black teacher was in his life.
“Besides my parents,” Brody revealed, “I had one great teacher in school which was first grade. I had a wonderful teacher named Mrs. Vanderpool, who was from Africa, and she was lovely and kind, and that had a great impact on me….I didn’t feel neglected. [However] the classrooms were overcrowded, they’re on a budget. Textbooks were sh*t. I know what it’s like.
“There are a lot of obstacles stacked against kids, but I had the home, and I had parents who were both creative and independent and didn’t shut me up even though they should have. They let me learn my lessons kind of the hard way, but at the end of the day I am accountable, and the only reason I’ve been accountable is because I know the repercussions of my actions and I have a conscience, and that’s from growing up with people with a conscience and having that instilled in me at a young age.”